HP Developing Windows 8 Tablets and Ultrabooks
Right after HP revealed that it's keeping the PC division under the same roof, the company revealed plans for a Windows 8 tablet and ultrabooks.
Thursday during a conference call explaining why it will be beneficial to keep the Personal Systems Group in-house, HP CEO Meg Whitman confirmed that the company has no plans to bring the TouchPad tablet back from the dead. In fact, HP will use Windows 8 instead of the defunct webOS going forward, but it's still unclear whether the company plans to retain the "TouchPad" branding, or go with something else.
"I think we need to be in the tablet business and we're certainly going to be there with Windows 8," she said. "We're going to make another run at this business."
As for webOS, its future is still up in the air according to the conference call. But now that HP has made its final decision concerning the PC division, Whitman said the next order of business is to evaluate the platform it acquired from Palm. Right now HP is still working on the software, pumping out updates to current tablet and smartphone owners.
As indicated earlier, HP may license out the software to third parties much like Microsoft does with Windows Phone, and is supposedly negotiating with those companies now. But as of this writing, there hasn't been an official nibble made known to the press, nor has HP publicly announced that any kind of potential licensing deal is actually on the menu.
Is HP holding out to use webOS on ultrabooks? During Thursday's conference call, Todd Bradley, executive vice president of HP's Personal Systems Group, revealed that the company is "very focused" on the "ultramobile" space of sub-17 millimeter notebooks. He also admitted to the pressure HP is currently facing in the short term thanks to the "hangover" caused by its August 18 revelation of exploring a spin-off.
"HP had yet to announce its intentions for the Ultrabook market and has been notably quiet as Lenovo, Asus, Acer, and Toshiba have all announced new ultra-thin models," Deron Kershaw, an analyst at GAP Intelligence, said in a research note.